What does occupational therapy research really look like? How does it feel?

Graphic designer Anna Thurfjell asked herself these questions when she was to create the framework for the Occupational Therapists’ Association’s new research magazine.-

— I thought about how research visually looks to me, and my references were the old science drawings from especially the Italian sculptor, painter and scientist Leonardo da Vinci as well as the German biologist and philosopher Ernst Haeckel. Their drawings are in many ways the explainers of the past.
— For the occupational therapy research magazine, which in a way should also be able to function as a kind of explainer for the subject, I would try to combine the feeling from the old masters’ often slightly technical science communication with a feeling of something more human – the hand, the way we move us on…. It must not be too technical or clinical, because that’s not how I see occupational therapy.

I found illustrator Sidsel Brandt, who specializes in making anatomical drawings of both humans and animals. However, since the theme of the first issue is about aids in research and practice, we had to find a visual idea that was not only based on anatomy, but could reconcile the look and feel of the old science illustrations with present and future aids, and therefore it became visual element an exoskeleton – a future aid interpreted in a slightly past, anatomical line, explains Anna Thurfjell.

She also mentions the Japanese artist Masao Yamazaki’s fine portraits of many of the researchers that the magazine presents as an element she is particularly fond of: – In this first magazine, the editor and the editorial panel have given priority to bringing a list of all the occupational therapy researchers – from PhD students to professors, and here Masao’s fine portraits are a really good invitation for the reader to dive into the list and see , who has researched what in the field of occupational therapy.

The Occupational Therapist Research will be published for the first time on 24 March 2021. Interview by Trine Vu, @etf.dk